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Cynthia Golomb, MD | Dermatology Boutique

Month: July 2022

How the sun affects skin of color

· Sunscreen · Comments Off on How the sun affects skin of color

 

My patients with darker skin tones also experience the damaging effects of the sun, but sometimes differently than their lighter-skinned counterparts.  The sun may not cause as many wrinkles, but hyperpigmentation and melasma are more of a problem if you have dark skin.

In addition, something called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more of an issue for skin of color.   This is hyperpigmentation that develops at the site of an injury or inflammation that is made worse with sun exposure.  The inflammation can be acne, and patients find the resulting dark spots disturbing.

UV radiation also causes damage in skin of color and can result in skin cancer.  Unfortunately, because of beliefs that dark skin protects one from the sun, patients with skin of color are diagnosed with skin cancer at a more advanced stage.

Because of the propensity for pigmentation, patients with skin of color should select a sunscreen with iron oxides.  Research has shown that using a sunscreen with iron oxides gives greater protection to the block visible light that causes this skin discoloration.  Even though iron oxide might be listed as an “inactive ingredient” on the label, it is providing additional protection if the product has least 2% iron oxide.

You may have to look up your product online to see the full list of all sunscreen ingredients.  Sometimes only the “active ingredients” are listed on the product label.  Iron oxides will not be listed as a sunscreen ingredient.

Tinted sunscreens often have iron oxides and this is why I believe tinted sunscreens are much better for the face.  If your skin is dark and the tinted sunscreen you select is not dark enough, put your foundation on top of the sunscreen.  Also, we are happy to have you test the tinted sunscreens we sell in the office.

Excel V laser erases stubborn brown spot

· Lasers · Comments Off on Excel V laser erases stubborn brown spot

This was a stubborn brown spot.  First, I confirmed it was benign with a biopsy before we began to treat it cosmetically.

It took five monthly treatments with the Excel V laser to get this result.  Both Mylene and I did the laser treatments for this patient.

Once clear, my patient has kept the spot from coming back with Obagi dark spot lightener and corrector cream and a Retinoid.  The “after” photo is 3 years after treatment.  My patient is glad to have it gone and she’s obviously committed to the regimen so it doesn’t reappear.

This diligent maintenance is important!  Otherwise, daily activity, sunlight and environmental pollutants will cause recurrence.

My patient granted Dermatology Boutique permission to post her photos on Dr. Golomb’s social media and patient communications. I am grateful that she allowed me to share her photos to help others.

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